Intro to SEO: What You Need to Know

By Dream Local Digital | Aug 10, 2017

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a marketing practice that enhances the visibility of a website in search engine results.

SEO is a multi-faceted approach to driving traffic to your site. In this post, we will teach you some basic concepts of SEO, offer insight into how Google’s search algorithms work, and show you how small businesses can improve their search engine rankings.

Search engine optimization is the key to your business’s presence on the internet, because it determines where your company appears in search results on Google and other search engines. No matter if someone is searching for “pizza,” “local real estate attorney,” or “jet engine repair,” they’re most likely to click on the top results. If your company doesn’t appear until page two of the results, few prospective customers will see you. Without proper SEO, you may as well not exist.

Search engines have very specific ways of ranking sites based on link analysis and keywords. Link analysis is a surrogate for the usefulness or popularity of a website or page, on the principle that if other sites or people are linking to it, it is probably worthwhile. Keywords tell the search engine directly what the website or page is about. Google uses both tools to try to deliver the best search results in answer to a user’s search query.

In keyword analysis, Google’s search algorithm determines the number of links pointing to your website from other websites, as well as the quality of those links. In order for your website to score high on link analysis, your business should be listed in as many places as possible. This can be done by getting listed in local directories, producing great content in the form of blogs or infographics that will be shared by others in the form of links on their own websites or social media channels, or launching contests that will be shared around with a link back to your website. These are examples of high quality backlinks.

Keywords are an equally important tool in building effective SEO. A keyword is any word that might be used in a search for your business. For example, if someone is traveling to your area and searches Google for “food near Boston,” your website has a better chance of showing up in the search results if you have those exact words on your home page.

There are tools available for researching keywords, something that all businesses need to keep themselves updated on if they want to maintain their search ranking. Knowing the most popular searches relevant to your business will help you craft website content with keywords that help it appear high in the search results. The more relevant keywords you use, the better.

A basic understanding of Google’s search algorithms will help you see how to use them to their advantage. Google has a page that explains how search works, with information on how they find and index websites, how they handle search queries, and importantly, how their algorithms work.

There is an important but fine line between proper SEO and spam. Google’s search algorithms are fine-tuned to detect spam and will automatically demote or remove sites that they think are sources of spam. Some examples of spam are using keywords excessively or adding invisible text to your page that contains extra keywords. Google also has a team dedicated to spam detection and will manually review sites to make sure they adhere to their Webmaster Guidelines. If they detect a violation of the guidelines, they will contact the site owner to help them rectify the problem.

Dream Local Digital has been at the forefront of search engine optimization since the internet was in its infancy. Contact us today for a free marketing consultation where we will review of your website SEO and to find out how we can boost the visibility of your business.

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